Wednesday, 16 November 2016

(Leicester) Squaring the Circle.

Tonight’s Leicester Square Theatre gig was just what I needed to give me the boost to get myself back on the case with my solo stand-up.

For one, it was nice to be in a proper venue with the appropriate tech set-up, rather than having to take everything with me; I’ve grown tired of spending the majority of my journeys into town resembling a comedic pit-pony, carrying more equipment than any one man should ever be lumbered with, with my wife roped into the deal, lugging a load of gear as well. Not only does this make you sweaty and stressed, it zaps half of the energy you need for the show, making it all the more likely you take any of the problems you had in getting to the venue (and setting up the space) into your performance; it’s a shitter of the highest level, and one I’d sooner avoid from now on if I can.

I was fortunate to have the assistance of Mostly Comedy’s technical wizard Paul Willianms tonight, which made things easier; it was good to have someone to take on some of the tech responsibility rather than doing everything yourself.

But that’s enough backstage talk. The most encouraging aspect of tonight was having a decent-sized audience who were on board and responsive from the beginning, in a focused space that helped me keep their attention. I was a little rusty and rushed in places, but it was still fun, with a couple of nice off-the-cuff moments that gave me a buzz and kept me on my feet. This was the case from very beginning when a woman in the audience decided to openly take a photograph of me on her phone as I did my introductory spiel (which led to me quickly posing with the rest of the audience). Thankfully, she was a good sport as I gently ribbed her (which is the best way to be ribbed). I'd also forgotten to set a notepad I read part of the show from, so went off-stage to get it from the bottom of my suitcase, giving an audio-description as I did from a mic in the wings; these bits always give me a bit of extra energy, and are often more fun than the material.

I had a few performer friends in tonight too, which can add a little tension, as you want them to enjoy it, and know they’ll inevitably have their own subliminal critique. Thankfully, they saw a reasonably good example of the show. After the gig I caught up with my actor friend Joe over a pint, packed up and caught the train back to Hitchin. All in all, it was a good night, which put me in a good mindset for my next gig at the venue in a few weeks. Still, I'm surprised I didn't sell as many tickets as the other act on tonight; what can you do, eh? What can you do.

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